Park Profile: Kennedy Park in Hayward - 510 Families
ad for BADM

Park Profile: Kennedy Park in Hayward

The years-long wait is over! The renovation of Hayward’s beloved Kennedy Park is complete and it’s definitely worth a visit with your kiddos. The shiny new park has an adorable farm theme that’ll excite and thrill little kids (maybe not so much bigger kids). Weekends bring even more exhilaration with train rides, tea cup rides, carousel rides, and yes, even a petting zoo. So if you happen to be in the area, or even if you aren’t, add Kennedy Park to your list of parks-to-see.

toddler balancing on tree stumps at playground
There are lots of toddler-friendly balancing and climbing features at Kennedy Park | Photo: Julie Herson

Kennedy Park Features

Location: 19501 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94541
Unique Features: Farm-themed play area (tractor, barn, truck, “corn maze”; train rides, carousel, teacups, and petting zoo on the weekends.
Swings: Two baby bucket swings, two big kid swings, and two large saucer swings.
Fenced in? No, but the playground area is spaced well away from the parking lot.
Surfaces: A combination of fresh wood chips, rubber surfaces, astroturf, and real grass.
Bathroom: Large and clean gendered bathrooms with changing table.
Lunch tables & seating: So many! Many tables under shaded pavilions. For birthday parties and the like reservations are required to reserve tables.
Parking: Easy and free parking lot.
Shade: No shade in the play area, but there are shaded tables to eat lunch or take a break. Definitely need hats and sunblock!
Pros: Super cute farm theme with brand new unique play structures. Wide-open spaces. Weekend activities. Target across the street. Super clean.
Cons: Not great for older kids, so not as mixed-age appropriate as some other parks. No shade in the play area. Train rides, etc. are only offered on weekends at this time. Can get uber crowded on weekends.

child riding tractor
This super fun tractor is a toddler’s dream, with a steering wheel and bouncing capabilities | Photo: Julie Herson

Kennedy Park for little kids

This is the park for farm-loving little kids. The wide-open playground has oodles of shiny new play structures, from a barn with lots of climbing and sliding features, a big truck, and a happy red tractor that toddlers will love “driving” There’s even a “corn maze” (made of plastic walls with pictures of corn). There are also traditional playground favorites like swings, tree stump balancing, grassy fields, and plenty of flat pathways for working on scooter or balance bike skills. To gild the lily, go on a weekend and you’ll get to enjoy a jolly train ride around the park, twirl in the new teacup ride, and of course avail yourself of the historic carousel for some Instagram worthy fun.

child climbing at playground
These beanstalk climbing poles are fun and challenging for little kids | Photo: Julie Herson

Pro-Tip: If your little kid will have a hard time seeing the rides but not being able to ride the rides, plan your visit for a weekend.

Kennedy Park Changes

We overheard several parents lamenting some of the changes at Kennedy Park. Several were sad to see the bigger play structure gone since it offered more challenging climbing options for older kids. Others had hoped there’d be a tot lot and separate big kid area, making it more mixed-age appropriate. Many had hoped the weekend attractions would also be offered on some weekdays. The big takeaway here is that this beautiful new park is best for little kids, probably age five and younger. Oh, and be prepared for crowds on the weekends!

Sponsor

ad for Bay Area Children's Theatre
toddler playing at playground
The play barn even has a pile of pumpkins to climb up. | Photo: Julie Herson

If you go

  • Address & Parking: 19501 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94541. Park for free in the big parking lot at the backside of the park
  • Drive time from Berkeley: about 40 minutes without traffic.
  • Bring hats and sunscreen for sure as it gets hot without any shade in the play area.
  • Tickets: $3 per ride per person (prices have doubled since before the renovation)
  • Rides: Operate Saturdays & Sundays from 11 am-4 pm
  • Nearby Attractions: Target literally across the street; Sulphur Creek; Mia’s Dream Come True and more ideas to spend time in Hayward with kids here>
  • Food options: Snack-bar onsite (cash or card) including ice cream/popsicles. Five Guys across the street.
  • Website >
farm truck
Little kids go bonkers for this tricked-out farm truck where they can use the steering wheel and slide down the back. Big thumbs up from my 3-year-old! | Photo: Julie Herson

The Bottom Line on Kennedy Park

If you have kids under five, this park is for you. There’s a festive pumpkin patch vibe running throughout, lending the park a particular whimsy usually reserved for those cooler fall days. There’s a ton of seating and tables, and an on-site snack bar is a convenient option for an impromptu lunch or special treat snack. Older kids will likely get bored quickly, but there’s plenty of green grass for playing soccer or throwing a baseball, so mixed-age families can still enjoy the park. Overall, Kennedy Park is a splendid addition to the East Bay’s collection of unique parks and playgrounds.

Did you visit yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Get the {510} Families weekend planner in your inbox. It's free!

* indicates required

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We've got your instructions for family fun right here!
Sign up today and get a list of kid-friendly activities for East Bay parents every Friday.
Stay Updated
You can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
logo
Scroll to Top